Advantages of plastic pipes in domestic plumbing

White man carrying straight pipe on his shoulder on a building site small

Mostly hidden behind walls, beneath floors and within cupboards, domestic plumbing systems are easy to overlook. To ensure every part of the system can stand up to the demands of modern living – from reliably delivering clean water through to preventing leaks – the choice of material is an important factor.

Plastic pipes have been widely used in plumbing systems for decades. As a material, the advantages of plastic pipes are vast, and reliability, long service life and strength are really just the starting point.

Underpinning efficient performance by facilitating the smooth flow of water, plastic pipes can also provide unrivaled flexibility and make installations quicker and easier. All of this is thanks to the properties of plastic, which make it resistant to corrosion, but also lightweight and easy to handle.

In domestic settings – including new build and multi-occupancy homes – where space is increasingly at a premium, the advantages of plastic pipes and fittings have meant that they have become a firm favourite amongst professional installers, contributing to consistently high quality on every job.

Let’s take a look at why plastic pipes are the smart choice for domestic plumbing and heating systems.

Reliable for the long-term

Durability is an essential consideration for domestic systems and is a factor that is underpinned by material choice. Unlike alternative materials, plastic is resistant to rust and corrosion, enabling them to efficiently deliver clean water throughout their entire lifespan.

Once installed, these pipes will serve the occupants of domestic properties for decades to come – something which not only improves comfort and convenience, but also contributes to sustainability. Plastic pipes also require less energy to manufacture than alternative materials making them a smart choice for every home. Plus, for greater peace of mind, some products are backed by a guarantee, such as JG Layflat which is guaranteed for 50 years.

Fewer joints, fewer leaks

For installers who choose plastic pipes on their installations, one of the biggest differences they’ll notice is the ability to install longer pipe runs with fewer connections. Typically, the majority of leaks originate from incorrectly installed connections so, by reducing them in volume with the use of longer runs of plastic pipe, installers can reduce the potential for leaks to occur in the future.

Alongside reducing the chances of leaks occurring in the future, the need to make fewer connections also makes installations faster and smoother for installers, saving them – and their customers – time and money on every job.

Facilitating fast and simple installation

Alongside the ability to make fewer connections, another advantage of plastic pipes is that they can also aid the simplicity of installations. While plastic pipe can provide the rigidity needed for a reliable system, it can also deliver the flexibility to navigate the corners and tight spots which are common in domestic settings.

Lighter and easier to handle and install, plastic pipes can be used by installers to exceed customer expectations, creating strong, reliable and future-proof systems quickly, easily and sustainably.

jg speedfit fitting on pipe

Leading the way in plastic pipes

With plastic pipe bringing such a broad range of benefits to every installation, professionals can maximise their usage with RWC. Through our range of JG Speedfit products, we’re equipping installers with the plastic solutions they need to get every job completed to the highest standards.

PEX pipes

Thanks to its flexibility, easy attachment with fewer fittings and its ability to be cut easily, PEX pipes are an excellent choice for domestic systems. Commonly used to supply water within homes, it is often colour coded: red for hot water, blue for cold, making it easy to identify the service type. Besides this, the advantage of plastic pipe’s strength makes it capable of withstanding pressures from the water supply, while being flexible enough to bend to angles up to 90°.

Polybutylene pipes

For those long runs of pipe where flexibility is just as important as laying completely flat, JG Layflat pipes have you covered. The perfect solution for central heating systems, the pipe is easy to handle, perfect for cabling through joists and even able to comfortably flex around bends.

Those same characteristics make JG Layflat the solution of choice for underfloor heating installations, which continue to be in high demand as homeowners look for more efficient ways to heat their homes.  Here, the pipe’s flexibility allows for simple creation of pipe circuits and speeds up installation time.

The continued rise in underfloor heating installations in homes is due to homeowners wanting heating solutions that are out of the way. For this reason, the JG Layflat pipe is the best solution for it. When installed, the pipe lays flat making it easy for a floor to be placed above. The flexibility of the pipe also allows it to create pipe circuits, helping speed up the laying process in even the tightest of spaces.

During installation, you should protect the JG Layflat pipes with conduit pipes, giving them a protective sleeve to shield them against any accidental damage. It’s best practice to do this when a pipe runs between the floor and the manifold, or when the pipe is passing through a solid floor in an area where underfloor heating isn't installed to an area where it is. The conduit also prevents excessive heat from building up in areas where pipes carrying hot water are close together, which could crack or damage the floor if left unprotected.

Flexi hoses

The trend for pipework to be hidden throughout the home can often present a challenge for installers and take additional time to achieve. Particularly on second-fix installations, this can be made even trickier, with final connections from first-fix pipework to outlets commonly done in places which are now hard to reach.

With added flexibility thanks to their braided metal or white PVC construction, flexi hoses such as the JG Speedfit push-fit flexi hoses, can be easily installed around existing pipework or obstacles, without compromising the connection.

Pipe in pipe solutions

Saving installers additional time, as well as ensuring high-quality installations, pipe-in-pipe solutions are another great option for domestic applications. With pipes already pre-laid in the conduit, they are ready to lay within concrete and masonry – without requiring installers to push the pipe through the conduit during installation. An important consideration on first-fix projects in particular, pipe-in-pipe solutions support installers to deliver consistently high levels of quality and adhere to regulations.

Family of Brands

Through the RWC family of brands – JG Speedfit, JG Underfloor, Reliance Valves and SharkBite - installers can access the first-class solutions they need to make every job a complete success.

Richard Bateman Headshot

Richard Bateman

Product Marketing Manager Plumbing and Heating

About the author

A highly experienced and passionate professional, I have over 15 years' experience as a commercial and domestic plumber and hold NVQ Level 3 qualifications from City and Guilds

Since joining RWC in 2015, I began as a technical engineer, utilising my extensive knowledge to provide exceptional support. Currently, I am thrilled to be working with the marketing department as a Product Marketing Manager. 

This role allows me to combine my technical background with a keen eye for market trends, ensuring that RWC's products meet the evolving needs of the industry. With my wealth of experience and commitment to excellence, I am proud to serve as a spokesperson for RWC, sharing our innovative solutions and contributing to the growth of the plumbing and heating sector.